Glossy wave icon. Free flag icons from United KingdomUNITED KINGDOM
SONG   "Love Will Set You Free"
SINGER    Engelbert Humperdinck
MUSIC & LYRICS    Martin Terefe & Sacha Skarbek  
DRAW   #1 in the final



While the BBC made no formal announcement it was always certain that there would be an entry from the United Kingdom in Baku. On August 24th, the Daily Star reported that the BBC had once again opted for an  internal selection and that they were targeting acts such as Charlotte Church, JLS, The Saturdays, Pixie Lott and Katherine Jenkins, almost all of whom had been on the list of rumoured acts for the 2011 contest. However six months later, the same newspaper reported that girl band Atomic Kitten had been chosen to go to Baku, however within days member of the group were publicly denying the story.

On March 1st after more frenzied rumours on the name of the act, the BBC confirmed that veteran crooner Engelbert Humperdinck had been chosen to represent the U.K. and that the song was written by Grammy-winning Martin Terefe and Ivor Novello-winner Sacha Skarbek. The song "Love Will Set You Free" was released on March 19th.



Engelbert Humperdinck has been a big name in the international music industry for over forty-five years, with over 150 million records sold worldwide. His remarkable voice and extraordinary talent has endeared him to millions of fans around the globe.

Engelbert Humperdinck has four Grammy nominations, a Golden Globe for Entertainer of the Year, 63 gold and 24 platinum records and as one of only a handful of artists with a star on both the Hollywood Walk of Fame and the Las Vegas Walk of Fame.

Humperdinck still has a loyal global fanbase, and in the past 12 months alone he has performed all over Europe including United Kingdom, Russia, Romania, The Netherlands, Belgium & Israel.

Engelbert Humperdinck was born Arnold George Dorsey, one of ten siblings. His father served in the British military, and his mother was an opera singer and taught the violin. They all lived in Leicester and Humperdinck still has strong ties with the city, and was awarded freedom of the City in 2009.

After a life-threatening and career damaging bout of Tuberculosis at the start of his career, the young Gerry Dorsey, as he became known, realised that he needed a big comeback and he changed his name to Engelbert Humperdinck. It was just outrageous enough to be memorable and it would take a man with a secure self image and a sense of humour to pull it off.

During his heyday in the late '60s and early '70s, Humperdinck cultivated the image of a mysterious heartthrob, sporting shaggy sideburns and a flamboyant wardrobe that, when coupled with his rich, silky crooning, drove female fans wild. Few people realise that it was Humperdinck, not Elvis, who made famous the sideburns and leather jumpsuits.

Humperdinck often jokingly asserts that Elvis "stole" the image from him. He has been especially popular in Europe and his native UK with many of his singles reaching the top 10 in charts in countries such as Germany, The Netherlands and Norway.

Humperdinck is currently in the studio recording a brand new album with Grammy award winning producer Martin Terefe and writer Dan Wilson with some surprising contemporary collaborations.



The selection of Engelbert Humperdinck to represent the United Kingdom in Baku was the biggest international news story of the pre-selection season, with reaction generally being a mixture of shock and delight, to have such a high profile and established artist in the competition. The song received a generally warm reception, although many feared that its chance of victory were all but eliminated by being drawn at #1 in the final

Without the need for international promotion, the United Kingdom has still been able to hold a place in the Top 5 most likely winners with the bookmakers, although the entry is lower ranked in most internet polls.




Date Rehearsal Press Conference
Saturday May 19th 18:30 - 19:10  
Sunday May 20th 15:00 - 15:30 16:15 - 16:55
Friday May 25th   15:00 - 15:20
*Baku is four hours ahead of Ireland.






  Running Order
  Fan Polls





  • First entry: 1957
  • Number of previous entries: 54
  • Best result: Winners (1967,1969,1976,1981,1997)
  • Worst result: Last (2003,2008,2010)






"This is an absolutely inspired decision by the BBC, finding a singer with an international reputation, a known good live performer and someone willing to sing at Eurovision, especially if every country has to have a national final, from next year, as rumours suggest. The song is very melodic, with straightforward lyrics for non-English speakers and I’m sure it will look fantastic on stage, as long as it’s keep nice and simple. Consequently it should have all the ingredients to challenge for victory, but I cannot help thinking that this is the worst possible draw for the U.K. and Engelbert may have to content himself with a spot in the Top 10."- Keith Mills.



"I was expecting nothing less. This is a very nice and quality entry, sung to perfection by the Hump. I think that this is an honest song, far better than last year’s entry. I expect something really good for the UK on May 26th." - Athan  (Greece)

"What a surprise, simply stunning; song of the year. I would of paid good money to have heard Johnny Cash sing this. Just love it. Pity about the terrible draw, but safely in top 8." - Dave Mongey (U.K.)

"Engelbert Humperdinck is without a doubt the most experienced artist this year. He is such a charming, classy and talented singer. I admire him and have huge respect for this legend especially with the fact that he agreed to participate in a contest like this. I have a few old songs from him which I often listen to. "Love will set you free" is a very beautiful and classy song. But the only downside with this song is that it is a bit too short. The song stops too early and can't develop sufficiently. And that doesn't do the song justice. But I'm sure he will do very well. This should be at least top 10." - Nicky Peeters (Belgium)

"The U.K. entry has once again failed to deliver. While I do believe that Mr. Humperdinck is capable of delivering a solid vocal, the song is average at best, awash in a sea of mediocrity and easy listening slumber. | I fear another Bottom 5 placement for The United Kingdom." - Ricky Paul (U.K.)

"Admittedly when the BBC first announced that Englebert Humperdinck (great name btw) wound be our representative I was a bit worried that they would choose something awful. Now that I've heard the song I can safely say that it's fantastic! Very sweet and will appeal to lots of people across Europe, only if they want to make it more modern I'd suggest a bit of electric giucan savguitar or drums." - Olivia Gavazansky (U.K.)